If restless nights have become the norm for you, the first step towards better sleep is to observe your sleep patterns. Take note of how much you sleep each night, what factors contribute to your sleep or lack of sleep, whether you feel rested the next morning, and how much energy you have throughout the day.
After observing your sleep patterns for a week or two, try the following strategies to help improve your sleep. Keep making adjustments until restless nights are a thing of the past.
Minimize light and noise. These two environmental factors can impact both the quality and quantity of your sleep. The darkness causes your brain to release melatonin for a calming and drowsy effect. As a result, it is important to minimize your exposure to light before going to bed. Even the light from your computer, television, or other device can make it harder to fall asleep. Do not allow these devices in your bedroom and create a dark space by using curtains that block the light, or an eye mask. Noise can also interfere with your sleep. Try using a fan or noise machine to block out unwanted noises.
Be comfortable. Adults spend about a third of their lives sleeping, so it is worth investing in a bed that is comfortable and helps you relax. Before going to bed, try turning the thermostat down a few degrees. Your temperature drops while you rest, and having the bedroom rather cold will help this natural drop in temperature.
Stick to a routine. Like children, adults sleep better when they follow a bedtime routine. Doing the same before bed each night can help your body prepare for rest, and condition your brain for sleep. Practice activities that encourage you to relax, such as light stretching, journaling, reading, or meditation.
Manage stress. How you cope with stress can play a role in your ability to sleep and not wake up during the night. While stress is not completely bad, when it transforms into worry or anxiety it can disrupt your sleep. If your busy mind keeps you awake at night, try practicing stress management techniques before bed. Experiment with aromatherapy, deep breathing, keeping a gratitude journal, or meditation.
Get out of bed. If you find yourself in bed, stressed because you can't sleep, get up and do something to help you relax. You can read an uninteresting book, practice a relaxation technique, or focus on your breathing. When you start to feel sleepy, go back to bed.
Make sleep a priority. Even if you're already sleeping well, these tips can help. If you're not getting enough sleep, continue to use these tips until you can get enough sleep to feel your best each day.